I had this fabulous idea to make mocha brownies, and because bigger is better, I decided that I should not only make brownies, but I should make cheesecake topped brownies, with coffee flavored cheesecake. Brilliant I know. In fact so brilliant that a bunch of other people apparently had the same idea. It wasn't quite as disappointing as when I found out that Caribou Coffee is a ginormous chain (so I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but seriously, I had only ever seen one in my entire life, until I switched planes in the Minneapolis airport and passed like 4 on my way to my gate) but still, it turns out that I am not a culinary genius/super innovator just yet. That wont keep me from trying though, I have big plans for a whole assortment of cheesecake brownies, raspberry ones, carmel ones, lime ones (Nigella has a great chocolate lime cheesecake that I plan on using for those), peanut butter ones..... Anyways, I must confess something, I love brownies from boxes. Generally I would rather use a box than make them from scratch. My very favorite brownie mix was the generic Safeway one. Tragically, they do not make it any longer and I have yet to find my a new favorite, I am taking suggestions if anyone knows of a spectacular mix.
Start by making your favorite brownies, be it from a box or scratch, I added some of the super strong coffee I made for the cheesecake to the brownie batter, about 1/8 cup worth to bump up the mocha factor.
Next make your cheesecake. I adapted this recipe.
Now, put the brownie batter in the pan, but not all of it, don't really scrape out the bowl just yet, we want to have some batter left to dollop on top of the cheesecake so it looks pretty.
Pour the cheesecake over the batter and spread it out so it covers the entire pan. Then dollop the remaining the brownie batter around on top of the cheesecake. Take a knife and swirl the brownie around to make the pretty patterns.
Bake for about half an hour, you want the brownie bit to be done and the cheesecake bit to be set.
Coffee Cheesecake Brownies
1 batch of brownie batter (enough for a 9x13 pan)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
about 1/4 cup very strong coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9x13 pan
Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended. Add the coffee and vanilla, mix well. You want to be able to taste the coffee in this mix, I started with a small bit and kept adding until it tasted coffee-ey enough to me. I had some coffee left so I tossed it in the brownie batter. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Spread almost all of the brownie batter in the pan. Top with the cheesecake mixture, spreading it evenly. Dollop the remaining brownie batter on the cheesecake, drag a knife through the dollops to swirl around. Bake for about 30 min, until the brownie is done and the cheesecake set.